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Real Humans of the Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2023

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chicago mba class of 2023Tanya Rizvi, Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2023

Age: 25
Hometown: Delhi, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Delhi, Economics major
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Investment banking (2.5 years) and Private equity (1.5 years)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
This was both a professional and a personal decision. I had been working in India for the last four years, while I certainly learnt a lot, I wanted to do more in the world of finance and the US markets provide an unparalleled platform to learn and explore given the depth and breadth of the financial industry here. Personally, I had just been so focused on my work and deliverables the last 4 years that I didn’t have time to explore anything else (RIP social life), I really wanted to change that and explore new things like painting a Van Gogh at the Color Cocktail Factory with a bunch of friends or participating in LEAD cohort games. 

Why did you choose Chicago Booth? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose to attend Booth for 3 reasons:

  1. Its rock star reputation in the world of finance
  2. How warm the entire Booth community is
  3. Chicago is gorgeous

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
My unfiltered approach to life – I don’t sugar coat things and take a very practical approach to situations.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I can fall off to sleep anytime, anywhere (perks of being tiny!).

Post-MBA career interests:
Investment banking in NYC.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Getting to know myself better. The whole application process was very self-reflective, something I had never done. I really enjoyed getting to know my own emotions, capabilities and re-hashing events in my life that, in hindsight, were moments of growth

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I wish I could’ve visited the schools I was applying to. It would’ve made my reasons for wanting to attend a particular school more tangible.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The time spent being hopeful for the interview invite and the decision. I distracted myself with work (workaholic much?) so I was always too mentally tired to give it much thought.

What is your initial impression of the Chicago Booth students/culture/community?
I was and continue to be surprised by how warm the entire community is. Most of us have all been raised in different countries, communities and have very different life experiences, yet I have not once struggled to make a connection with someone.

What is one thing you have learned about Chicago Booth that has surprised you?
Booth has somehow managed to filter all type A unpleasant personalities. I tend to only meet people who are very sharp yet very down-to-earth, always eager to learn and grow more and very respectful of other people’s experiences/perspectives.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
It didn’t affect me negatively. In fact, I was able to work from home and was able to work on my own schedule and adequately allocate time between work and applications. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
As someone who had never cooked a meal in her life, I had to figure out how to feed myself (Still figuring it out….). 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Living in MPP (where most Boothies stay) is like living in an adult dorm. I love bumping into people in the elevator, corridor and while running to catch the Metra on time. It’s great to just show up in your jammies with ice-cream, after a hard day, at your best friend’s house cause she lives 5 floors above you!

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.